Republicans' condemnation of Susan Rice is a political sideshow

November 30, 2012

I normally agree with op-ed contributor Tom Schaller's views, but his recent column on Susan Rice and the Benghazi affair was an exception ("GOP right to seek answers on Benghazi," Nov. 28).

My concern is with the inadequate security afforded to the slain U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, not with any statement made by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice after the event. Ms. Rice had no involvement with security arrangements, which were clearly the responsibility of the military and the intelligence community as well as the State Department.

It has become clear that Ms. Rice's talking points were prepared and cleared by the CIA and that any deviation from them by Ms. Rice could have constituted a security breach.

Lawmakers should stop the political theater surrounding Ms. Rice and focus on the real problem — the inadequate protection for our diplomatic corps. It may be more politically rewarding for headline-grabbing Republican senators to go after an Obama appointee like Ms. Rice than after the defense and intelligence officials who fell down on the job, but it is hardly in the national interest.

Jack Kinstlinger, Baltimore

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